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Department of Labor Proposes Delaying Prevailing Wage Rule - Immigration News for March 26, 2021

American Flag In Front Of US Department Of Commerce Building

Peri B. Edelman | March 26, 2021

Three of my clients were issued green cards yesterday. One of my male clients received a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the other two clients through their T non-immigrant status (victims of human trafficking).

The USCIS has been scheduling many adjustment of status (green card) interviews throughout March and April.

Many clients have been calling me about the issuance of receipt notices after filing with the USCIS. The USCIS has had significant delays due to Covid-19. It has been taking sometimes 8 weeks for the USCIS to issue a receipt notice. Please be patient.

Department of Labor (DOL) Proposes Delaying Prevailing Wage Rule for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM Programs to November 2022

After taking public comments, DOL confirmed that the rule's original March 14 effective date would be postponed. Had the rule taken effect as planned, implementation of new prevailing wage levels would have begun on July 1. Days after moving the effective date of proposed prevailing wage increases to May 14, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed further delaying the final rule until November 14, 2022.

The final rule would have triggered a phase-in period of a year and a half for most jobs and three and a half years for workers on a path to lawful permanent residence, during which employers would be required to increase the wages offered to foreign workers in the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM programs. DOL previously claimed that these increases were essential to protect U.S. workers.

DOL's most recent notice states that a further 18-month delay “will provide a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly consider the legal and policy issues raised in the rule, and offer the public, through the issuance of a separate Request for Information, an opportunity to provide information on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels."

Proposed Affidavit of Support Rule Withdrawn

On March 19, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the withdrawal of the affidavit of support proposed rule introduced during the previous administration. The proposed rule would have would have imposed higher qualifying and evidentiary requirements, including production of tax returns, banking information, and credit reports for 3 years instead of one year. Moreover, these requirements would have placed new, costly burdens, estimated at $2.4 billion over the next decade, on U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents signing an affidavit of support on behalf of intending immigrants.

Vice President Harris is Leading Efforts to Curb Migration at the Border

Vice President Kamala Harris will take the lead for the Biden administration on the surge of unaccompanied minors and other immigrants seeking asylum along the US-Mexico border. Harris under her new role will be working on establishing a partnership with Mexico, and the northern triangle of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to curb the flow of migrants to the U.S. More than 15,000 unaccompanied children were in US custody as of March 21.

If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

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Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.